John 7:38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.
Laodicea was an idyllic city except for its lack of a water supply. It depended on water from an external source, the city of Hierapolis was located six miles to the north, the site of mineral hot springs which were used for medicinal purposes. These steaming hot waters were piped to Laodicea, arriving there… lukewarm, hence the metaphor in Yeshua’s warning to the Laodicean church.
Laodicea’s lack of a water supply also rendered the city vulnerable to siege. Potential enemies were, therefore, placated, accommodated, negotiated with, or pleaded to compromise, as the city’s leaders were desperate to avoid open conflict.
A wealthy, pleasure-loving, vulnerable, easily compromised city seems to have produced a congregation of similar character.
This combination of features makes it difficult to determine which one contributed most to the miserable spirituality of the Laodicean church. There seems to have been little true, living faith there, much less any demonstration of the power or holiness of God. Rather, the flesh ruled in Laodicea.
Laodicea’s lack of its own water supply, however, might have been a constant reminder of a promise Yeshua (Jesus) gave to all who are thirsty: “If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water;” [John 7:37-38].
Laodicea’s lack of water was a living natural metaphor that every Laodicean could have benefitted from, if it was rightly apprehended. The deficiency of water might have reminded them of a deeper need, and the Lord’s offer to fulfill it most wonderfully. Remembering the Laodicean church we may all become aware of our own desperate thirst and also, receive HIs promise… rivers of living (Holy Spirit) water!